24th Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee
The winner of the 24th Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee is Norival Favaro, a producer from Sarutaiá, a small town to the west of San Paolo with a population of fewer than four thousand people. This year the prize goes to the state of San Paolo, after three years of uncontested dominance by growers from Minas Gerais.
Norival Favaro received the much-coveted trophy and sixty thousand Brazilian Reals at an award ceremony for the annual competition held by illycaffè. The Trieste-based company awarded prizes totalling more than two hundred thousand Brazilian Reals to growers (40 national finalists, plus regional winners) and to special awards winners.
The other finalists all came from the Minas Gerais region: Antonio Bittencourt Ramos, from the region of Matas de Minas took second place (R$35,000); Carlos André Dognani, winner in 2011, placed third this year (R$18,000); Ronalt Marques de Araújo, also from the region of Matas, and Diogo José Myaki, from Cerrado Mineiro, took fourth and fifth places respectively (R$9,000 and R$5,000).
As well as the national category, regional awards were handed out to the top producers in the regions of San Paolo, Matas de Minas, Cerrado Mineiro, Minas Meridionale, Chapada de Minas and southern and central-western Brazil.
Ecoagrícola Café, owned by Marcelo and Roberto Flanzer, was also announced as Supplier of the Year. The jury from the Clube illy do Cafè (Illy Coffee Club: an illycaffè loyalty-enhancement programme for the company’s top suppliers) chose this grower after assessing a number of criteria: compliance and consistency of supply, efficiency, punctual deliveries, the condition of the product, how far the consignment matches the original sample, accurate documentation, consistent quality and quantity in consignments sold, membership of the Programme for Acknowledging Best Practice and Sustainability which covers producer loyalty, punctual delivery, the appearance of the product, compliance with quality and quantity requirements, and the actual harvest compared to the original sample. Marcelo and Roberto Flanzer of Ecoagrícola Café’s prize is a cultural trip to Italy, the chance to visit EXPO 2015 in Milan and a visit to illycaffè’s head office in Trieste.
As in previous years, a jury of national and international specialists selected the finest coffees after testing samples and classifying the beans by appearance, desiccation, colour, type, humidity level, roast and the quality of the resulting beverage at special espresso tasting sessions.
illycaffè, with headquarters in Trieste, produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee and is the leading brand in the high-end segment of the coffee market. illycaffè is the official partner of Expo 2015 and it takes charge of the content project and management, the exhibitions and the events associated to coffee, in the Coffee Cluster common area. More than 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. Sold in more than 140 countries around the world, illy is available in more than 100,000 of the world’s best restaurants and cafés. espressamente illy, the Italian-style coffee franchising chain, is present with 230 outlets in more than 30 countries to date. To grow and spread the culture of coffee, the company has established Coffee University, a center of excellence that offers full training in all aspects of coffee theory and practice to growers, baristas and coffee lovers. Globally, the company employs around 1,050 people and, in 2013, recorded consolidated sales of € 373.9 million. illycaffé buys green coffee directly from growers of the best Arabica through partnerships based on sustainable development. Working with the best growers in the world – in Brazil, Central America, India, Africa and China – the Trieste-based company develops long-term relationships that transfer know-how and technology to growers while paying above the market rate for their production.
24th Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee
The story of illycaffè in Brazil began in 1991 when the company started looking for coffee beans to use in its exclusive blend. At that time the market for coffee considered the commodity to be a product of little value and mediocre quality. Nevertheless, illycaffè put its faith in the potential of the country and its coffee, initiating a new phase in Brazil’s history of coffee production. Ernesto Illy travelled far and wide in rural Brazil, letting producers know that there was a market willing to pay higher prices for a superior quality product. Illycaffè’s presence and ongoing support have boosted the entire production chain by supplying coffee growers with tools and machinery to produce a new type of product. As well as investing to produce the finest possible coffee beans, illycaffè was keen to offer a concrete sign of appreciation for the hard work put in by producers who agreed to uphold the principles of quality and sustainability. Twenty-one years ago this led to the establishment of an award which, over time, has became the most important accolade for the quality of coffee in the country: the Prêmio Brasil de Qualidade do Café para Espresso(Brazil Quality Award for Espresso Coffee). Since 2008, this competition has been known as the Ernesto Illy Quality Award for Espresso Coffee, in tribute to illycaffè’s former honorary Chairman after his death. Now in its 24th year, the competition has thus far awarded a total of over four million US dollars in prize money to coffee growers.
The Clube illy do Café was launched in June 2000 and now boasts over 600 members. Through the Club, illycaffè brings together and stays in touch with its main suppliers, rewarding them when they fulfill requirements regarding quality and consistently supplying the finest coffee beans. Club members are sent information (films, brochures and newsletters), which enables them to constantly stay abreast of the latest market developments and news. Membership benefits include free courses and seminars at the Universidade do Café Brasil (the Brazilian branch of the Università del Caffè) and special terms for purchasing illycaffè products. Partners also have access to exclusive events and plantation visits: these are the most interesting and popular elements of the programme, as they offer coffee producers a chance to create a network and share their experiences and techniques under the guidance of company experts and technical staff.